ARLINGTON, Va.-CU nimbleness and the ability to turn bank converts into profitable relationships are keys to growth this year.

That's the call of NAFCU President Fred Becker who sees importance in credit unions continuing to generate marketing that promotes the advantages of CUs as banks make missteps. "Credit unions have to stay nimble and flexible, as consumers continue to migrate to credit unions from banks as they play games with fees, and test the waters to see what pricing works and does not work."

Becker addressed the matter, often raised by analysts last year, that credit unions must make sure they turn the new members fleeing banks into more than just deposit relationships. "When someone joins, the credit union has to leverage that opportunity to make sure they are getting more than just the checking account. They have to actively market to the new member."

Becker said recent NAFCU data shows that CUs are deepening relationships with members, encouraging those who are doing a good job of that to continue, and those who need to get started to do that soon.


Back To The Edge

Finally, being nimble is important to also deal with economic uncertainty, said Becker, as even though the "fiscal cliff" has been averted, other big issues remain.

"I think the first thing a credit union should do is prepare, to whatever extent they can, to deal with a dismal first quarter should the economy go south," counseled Becker.

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